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Ball Review


NO HOLES BARRED BY JOE CERAR JR.


{ joec@bowlersjournal.com } You Can Learn a Lot by Watching the Pros


THE PROFESSIONAL BOWLERS ASSN. was in my hometown in late May for the Geico Summer Swing, featuring three “animal pattern” tournaments and the PBA Milwaukee Open, all sponsored by Lucas Oil. As a result, I had the opportunity to pick the brains of several PBA bowlers and


select amateurs who were taking part in the various events. Receiving feedback from these uber-skilled players provided me with additional information that I could put to use in this month’s ball reviews. Having the pros back in Milwaukee after an extended absence was a very


rewarding experience, as it gave me the chance to examine, first hand and up close, the amazing physical and mental skills of the world’s greatest bowlers over several days and on several lane patterns. If you pay attention, there’s always something to learn from these players.


That’s why I always encourage my pro shop customers to go out and see the pros anytime they have a chance. Their “bag of tricks” is more like an over-sized suitcase.


Each month, bowlers journal interactive will reprint the BJ ball review by Joe Cerar. This issue also includes video demonstrations featuring one or more of the tested balls.


TIPS AND TRICKS TO MAKE YOU A BETTER BOWLER


THE TESTING This month, ball testing was performed at Classic Lanes and Olympic Lanes in Milwaukee. We were able to test on both AMF SPL and Brunswick Anvilane synthetic lane surfaces. Our test patterns included the USBC White and the PBA Viper. We also bowled on fresh and bro- ken-down typical house shots at both centers. My test staff included Scott Stolz and Matt Duty. Our rev rates range from 300 to 450, with ball speeds between 16- and 19-mph. All three of us can change our tilts and axis rotations to modify roll characteristics.


HOOK POTENTIAL 35-45: Balls with lower total hook ranges, best suited for lighter oil concentrations. Players with slower speeds or higher rev rates may also prefer balls in this range for medium oil appli- cations. 45-51: Balls with medium hook ability, best suited for the vast majority of “typical house


shots” and some lower-volume Sport patterns. This hook range should be represented by the “centerpiece” ball in most arsenals. 51-60+: Balls with greater total hook, designed for heavier oil volumes. Players with higher speeds or lower rev rates, who need added lane traction, may also prefer balls in this range.


LENGTH RATINGS 8-12: Earlier rolling balls that read the lane sooner. These products generally come facto- ry-sanded with lower grit surfaces, and match up well with speed-dominant styles and those bowling on longer patterns. 12-15: Medium-length balls that produce easier length through the midlane. Good for most house shots and medium-volume Sport patterns. 15-19+: Balls off ering extra length for those bowling on lighter oil concentrations. Also ben- efi cial for slower speed players, or those with higher rev rates needing added push downlane.


BREAKPOINT SHAPE 10-13: Slower-response balls that read the friction areas more gradually. This range may in- clude balls with a urethane or mild reactive cover, designed for a smooth arc to the pocket. Can also help those with higher rev rates control motion and match up well from outside angles of attack. 13-15: Balls rated for slightly stronger and quicker reactions when encountering friction ar- eas (as when the ball leaves the oil pattern). This range off ers a balance of control and back- end angularity. 15-18+: Balls that respond more quickly and aggressively to friction areas. This range can help those with less hand action create more angularity near the pocket. Also preferred when playing deeper inside angles, which generally require more entry angle for above-average pin carry.


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